Last April 2019, the Colorado State Senate passed resolution SR19-012 that directly targets US national interests, contradicts US foreign policy and backs Russia and Iran in the strategically critically important South Caucasus region.
On April 24, 2019, the Armenian-American National Committee, an infamous radical Armenian organization, Western Region (ANCA-WR), on its board sits the convicted terrorist Mourad Topalian, announced that the Colorado State Senate passed a resolution “recognizing the Republic of Artsakh.”
“Artsakh” is the name Armenia uses for Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region that has been under Armenia’s illegal military occupation since 1993. This aggressive occupation caused the purge of 800,000 ethnic Azerbaijani population from the Karabakh region, who are now refugees scattered around the rest of Azerbaijan, not allowed by Armenia to return to their homes and lands.
The Nagorno-Karabakh War took place in the late 1980s to May 1994, in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan. After the invasion, Armenia established an illegal regime in Azerbaijan’s territory, turned occupied territories into the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic,” or the “Republic of Artsakh” as they call it now.
Neither the United States nor any other country in the world has recognized the “independence” of this unlawful entity. The whole world, including the United Nations (U.N.), considers this occupied area an integral part of Azerbaijan.
The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) and the U.S. Government have both condemned this illegal occupation and the ghastly ethnic cleansing Armenian forces perpetrated.
The U.S. is now one of the mediators attempting to achieve peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The Armenian special interest lobby is now using the Colorado State Resolution 2019-SR012 to declare to the entire world that Colorado has recognized the “Republic of Artsakh” as an independent state.
It is clear that with the collaboration of the Colorado Senate, the entire agenda here is an attempt to legitimize an illegal criminal regime and divert the attention from Armenia’s ongoing illegal occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands and the suffering of 800,000 Azerbaijani civilians, who were subjected to a massacre, atrocities and horrendous ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Armenia.
Colorado Senate putting itself in the middle of this very complex conflict is extremely harmful to the already fragile peace process.
On April 26, 2019, I sent separate email letters to the resolution’s sponsors Senator Dominick Moreno and Senator Jack Tate. I also emailed a copy of my letter to Senate President Leroy Garcia and Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg. Not surprisingly, I received no reply from any of the recipients of my emails.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is a strong ally of the U.S. and the State of Israel, and is a great model of harmony among Muslims, Jews, and Christians as well as all other ethnic groups living in the land. Therefore, another paragraph in the resolution speaking about gravestones in Nakhchivan – an exclave of Azerbaijan, which borders with Turkey to the northwest, Armenia to the north and east, and Iran to the south, separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by Armenian invasion – is unjustified.
Conversely, Armenia has destroyed most of the Azerbaijani historic monuments, mosques, and cemeteries on its own territory as well as on Azerbaijan’s territory it now occupies.
The U.S. supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and does not recognize the so-called “Artsakh” as an independent state. Colorado, as one of the US 50 states, must hold the same stance.
More so, it puts a damper on the image of Colorado in particular, and the U.S., in general, and is strengthening the hands of America’s adversaries in the region. Armenia is a close ally of Russia and Iran in the region. Referencing the disclosed diplomatic cables, revealed in 2008, the Armenian government has been complicit in the illegal arms re-sale to the Iranian military, which, in return, transferred the weapons to the Hezbollah Brigade terrorist group, operating in Iraq; in return, they used the weapons to kill and injure U.S. troops. Moreover, Armenia has helped Iran to skirt US international sanctions.
By its own choice, Armenia became a military outpost of Russia, the only country in the greater post-Soviet periphery to do so. Armenia is a member of the Kremlin-run anti-NATO Collective Security Treaty Organization, it hosts a 5000-strong Russian military base with a lease extended to year 2044 and has a unified Russo-Armenian air defense cooperation.
So obvious is Armenia’s anti-Western position that in 2015 its former President Serzh Sargsyan openly declared that Armenia will “coordinate its foreign policy with Russia,” thus rendering its ties with Washington unimportant. This message was echoed by the new Armenian leader Nikol Pashinyan who just recently, at Russia’s orders, dispatched nearly one hundred military personnel to join the Russian military in Syria, to aid the Assad regime and strengthen Moscow’s political and military presence in the region.
I think that the Colorado State Senate was gravely misled by ANCA-WR, inserting anti-Azerbaijani paragraphs into the resolution, totally irrelevant to the actual topic of the document.
Senators Dominick Moreno and Jack Tate should have extensively studied these complicated foreign policy issues before introducing such an outrageous resolution that contradicts the bipartisan US foreign policy and international law condones occupation and ethnic cleansing, as well as supports US adversaries.
I call on Senators Dominick Moreno and Jack Tate as well as on Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia to amend the resolution as well as issue a statement expressing respect for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.